Freedom Caucus Member: Trump Threatened To Run Primary Challenger Against Me

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford claims President Trump threatened to back a primary candidate against him in 2018 if Sanford did not support the health care bill.

According to an interview with The Post and Courier Thursday, Sanford, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said the Trump sent Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney last week to tell Sanford the consequences of voting against the House Republican health care bill.

“‘The president asked me to look you square in the eyes and to say that he hoped that you voted ‘no’ on this bill so he could run [a primary challenger] against you in 2018,'” Sanford said Mulvaney told him.

“I’ve never had anyone, over my time in politics, put it to me as directly as that,” Sanford added.

The Freedom Caucus, composed of around 40 conservative Republicans who opposed the health care bill put forth by their own party, was attacked by President Trump on Thursday for their stance on the bill.

He later called out Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark Meadows, Raul Labrador and Jim Jordan.

“I have nothing against Donald Trump. There is zero personal animosity from me towards him,” Sanford said. “I try to shoot it right down the middle, as I have always done in politics … I want to help him succeed, because if he succeeds, the Republican congress, and our country by extension, succeeds.”

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